This is the Hearth card from the Well Worn path tarot deck. It ties in well with the cauldron card which I previously touched upon. The hearth has many many many purposes and is one of the most ancient spaces for magick and home, both. Many layers can be found in this card – the pentacle, the shelf with bread as a offering to ancestors, the cat (a popular witch familiar), candles, etc.
In the old days, the hearth was the center of the house. It was the main room where most of life activities happened. Meals, cooking, making medicines, crafting, weaving, spinning, and relaxing among other things happened in the hearth space.
Ireland has a goddess/Lady that is aligned with the Hearth and the Irish fiercely revere her in a very dear way. So dear that this Lady revered that the Church decided to “assimilate” Her into their Saints since it was very clear that the people of the land would not let go of their beliefs deeply connected with Her. This goddess is known as Brighid. She has many names: Brigit, Bree, Bride, Brigid, and Brighid are just a few of the myrid forms of her name.
Fire, milk, wells, cauldron, poetry, medicine, healing, and smith working are just a couple of many many many symbols related to Brigid. Imbolc, known also as Candlemas, is her sacred day/festival. That occurs in February, on the 1st or 2nd.
Now, why am I talking about Brighid when it is close to Samhaintide? Well, She is the bright one and I feel Brighid is the bright side to Hecate, the dark one. Balance of both light and shadow are here at Samhain as we turn from late fall to winter.
As winter unfolds, the hearth will become a very important space. A place of comfort, hope, light, assurance that the Dark will not be forever. That there is the promise of Spring.
The hearth also gives the space for incubation, going inwards, Deepening and envisioning what we desire, dream, and want to seed during the dark half of year so it will grow into fruit during the light half of year.
Here’s a Brighid prayer/blessing that feels apropos to include….
Of the Sacred Oak
Of the Sacred Flame.
shape our lives
in the cauldron of destiny
Ignite our creativity
forge our passions.
in the language of poetry
falling leaves and hot metal.
keeper of flame, hope, and hearts
Enliven our work
guide our steps
inspire our message.
(Credit to Woods Priestess via www.witches&pagans.com)